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Hōkūle’a: Crew Training

With all the excitement of Worldwide Voyage being highlighted, it’s easy to forget that 90 percent of a successful voyage happens not in the implementation, but rather, in the preparation. Before ever stepping onto Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia, prospective crew members must undergo intensive training to ensure that they are adequately prepared for sailing in the deep sea.

Whales and Dolphins Squeal With Delight, Study Finds

Whales and dolphins express their anticipation of a reward by squealing like kids, a new study confirms for the first time.

Small Caribbean Island Shows Bold Ocean Leadership: Barbuda Overhauls Reef and Fisheries Management for Sustainability

On August 12th, Barbuda Council signed into law a sweeping set of new ocean management regulations that zone their coastal waters, strengthen fisheries management, and establish a network of marine sanctuaries. This comes after seventeen months of extensive community consultation and scientific research supported by the Waitt Institute. With these new policies, the small island…

They Aren’t Always Smiling: Skin Lesions and Deformities Plague Wild Dolphins

Dolphins are top predators, meaning they feed at the top of the food chain. When chemical pollutants settle into seafloor sediments, they are absorbed by a variety of small organisms. Some of these creatures end up in the stomachs of bottom feeders, which, in turn, accumulate higher concentrations of the same contaminants in their body…

Seafloor Research Vessel Gets Underway

Rocking lazily in the gentle swell as our floating country of 113 people steams out to the first drill site offers me time to recollect what it takes to finally pull out of port. Stepping aboard this 471-foot ocean drill ship, which flies a Cyprus flag, are 30 scientists hailing from countries such as France,…

Mako Shark Madness

In honor of Shark Week, for the next few days I am going to be posting some cool facts and photos of the sharks I have had the pleasure of swimming with. Check out the Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), one of the fastest fish in the ocean.   Shortfin Mako facts at a glance…

The ABCs of Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Part V—‘Starting smart’

An old adage popularized by Benjamin Franklin says that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Many of us in the marine conservation community believe that would, indeed, be a good way to manage our nation’s ocean fish. But that’s not happening. Too often, fisheries begin in a new location, or target…

How Do Glowing Sharks See in the Dark? New Surprises Revealed

Researchers discover special structures in deep sea shark eyes that allow the animals to navigate their gloomy environment.

Mythical ‘Sea Serpent’ Comes into the Light

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Davy Jones’ Locker, it might be called, this final resting place of a sea serpent.  In a darkened back room at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland, ichthyologists Jeff Williams and Kris Murphy prepare to break the seal of a time capsule, a faded jar the color of yellow-green sea glass. A container…

Sylvia Earle’s Life and Mission on Screen in “Mission Blue”

A new Netflix original documentary follows National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle from her early days as a record-setting diver and oceanographer, to her current ceaseless campaign to make everyone aware of the dangers facing the ocean and to inspire them to act to protect it.

Hōkūle’a: French Polynesia’s Gift to the World

As the crews for the second leg of the Worldwide Voyage (WWV) make their way across the South Pacific, they have connected with numerous island communities in French Polynesia. These communities have embraced the mission of the voyage and took it upon themselves to contribute to the message of Mālama Honua in a way that none of the crew members could have expected.

Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay: When Partnerships Work

By Bob Vanasse Too often, environmental groups, regulators and fishermen find themselves cast in antagonistic roles on marine issues. Prolonged legal and regulatory battles frequently top headlines, while successful conservation partnerships go unheralded. The Chesapeake Bay, long plagued by problems like pollution and runoff, is benefitting from one such partnership. Regional fishermen, government agencies and environmental…

Longest-Living Octopus Found, Guards Eggs for Record 4.5 Years

A G. boreopacifica mother was observed watching over her eggs for a record 53 months—the longest developmental period known for any organism, according to a new study.

Bait and Black Magic: Shark Fishing Woes in Fiji

We were willing to try just about anything, including rally caps, talisman and shark dances—anything to catch a shark. We scoured the horizon for bird activity. We searched seamounts and steep drop-offs. We drifted with our chum slicks into the deep blue. We hung multiple fresh, whole yellowfin tuna from our buoys, shaking our heads in disbelief…

Green Snails: Valuable Aliens

By Alison Barrat and Alex Dempsey You don’t have to look too far to find a horror story about an invasive species that has completely disrupted a natural ecosystem. Cane toads in Australia come to mind or pythons in the Everglades or even lionfish in the Caribbean.  But what about introductions that have gone well?…